Designing for social play

I worked on many collaborative research projects during my time at RMIT’s Exertion Games Lab. I developed experimental games to explore the design of interactive experiences at the intersection of technology, play, and the body, with a focus on designing for social play. Some of the projects I led are detailed below.

Identity

Identity is a social collaborative game inspired by non-digital games such as Werewolf and Mafia where a team of players try to perform their movements in sync in order to hide the identity of a spy’s controller from the other team as well as spectators. This game explores how the concealing of digital movement representations can be an engaging game element when designing for social play.

Intangle

Intangle explores how the sharing of controllers can be used to extend the interaction beyond the screen to engage players with each other’s bodies in relation to a physical space, similar to games like Twister.

Musical Embrace

Musical Embrace is an game where two players hug each other to play, applying physical pressure to different sensors embedded inside a soft pillow controller. This game serves as a provocative research vehicle to explore the design of uncomfortable interactions through social awkwardness. It also explores how designers can engage with proxemics, the interpresonal social relationships between players in physical space, for designing digital play experiences.

Research output

My research informs the design of games and play by exploring how different approaches can contribute to supporting playful experiences in terms of social interaction, technology design, and physical play. I have presented formal talks and exhibited my designs at conferences and events with a focus on games, playful technologies and human-computer-interaction (HCI).  I have also written several academic papers on social interaction and physical play that have been published at top-ranking, prominent outlets, some of which are listed below.

Publications